Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fairview Fire

The Fairview Fire was reported about noon today. it is located nortthwest of Bautista Canyon Road.

The first units on scene observed light grasses burning and the area was about 4 acres. During the afternoon, the fire continued to grow, but slowly.

As of 4 p.m., it is 75 acres and contained at 4:45 pm. The size was estimated to be 79 acres. Cal Fire estimates full control will be about 6 p.m.

Seven engines, more than 100 firefighters, two helicoptors and four air tankers have helped fight the fire.

The photograph above and below were taken by Shane Fender.

Doug Yagaloff, of Mountain Harvest Market, took the two photographs below. The fire's location in east Hemet contributed to smoke being seen in the Idyllwild area.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Snow, yes, see these photos, for one brief moment, in May 2010 (late May! May 23) there was more snow fall in the hamlet of Idyllwild, California.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

IFPD special meeting Friday, May 21 at 6:30 pm

Idyllwild Fire Protection District
Board of Commissioners Meeting
~ May 21, 2010 ~

No Workshop / Meeting starts at 6:30 pm

The meeting is held at the Idyllwild Fire Station, 54160 Maranantha Drive, Idyllwild, Ca. Workshop is to review new agenda items and old business. The Board may approve or take action on items contained in the Discussion and/or Action Calendar.


Roll call
Capparelli – Killingsworth – Schelly – Stigall - Riggi
Interim-Chief Walker - Coopersmith(s)

Pledge of Allegiance


Citizens’ Comments: Citizens may comment on any matter as contained on the Regular Meeting Agenda. Individual citizen’s comments will be contained to five (5) minutes each as timed by a member of the Board. ***Optional request to citizens making public comments: You are not legally required to state your name and address but it is appreciated.

Chief’s Report: Interim-Chief Walker would like to address the Commission and public to report on his first week at IFPD.

All contents are actionable items.
1. Reba Coulter: Would like to write grants for IFPD. Underfunding of the District warrants a review of grant writing opportunities to provide necessary equipment (turn-outs, extractor, thermal imaging camera, breathing apparatuses, etc.)
2. The Family Business: Discussion of the ongoing business relationship with The Family Business for financial services such as general accounting, payment of bills, payroll, transfers from monetary accounts, etc, at a cost of $2500/mo to the District. Options to consider include, but are not limited to: outsourcing, doing in-house and/or retaining TFB on a consult/contingency basis. Reconsideration of the office assistant’s hours if TFB responsibilities are reduced. Also, change in name of the position to “Administrative Assistant.”
3. Interim-Chief Contract: Need to create document for new interim-Chief Walker.

1. Protocol development for ZOLL AutoPulse use: Gigi Kramer, if available, to discuss if available, Riverside Emergency Medical Services (REMS) requirement of IFPD to have specific criteria in place before implementing the AutoPulse equipment. She has experience writing said protocols and has bid on providing that service to the District. Are monitors in use yet? (GIGI MAY BE LATE. IF NOT PRESENT WILL PEND OUT UNTIL SHE ARRIVES)
2. Status of search for new Fire Chief: General discussion on process. Carry until completed.
3. Abatement Season: Status report. Use of non-career personnel to do abatements?
4. Reducing Operating Expenses: Review of emergency status of current budget. District is significantly underfunded and facing large deficits before the end of Fiscal Year 2009-2010. Ad Hoc created May 11 for discussion with labor group to discuss possible suspension of scheduled pay increases. Overtime has exceeded budgeted allotment along with several other line items.
5. 2010/2011 Budget: Review and projection of challenges facing IFPD in the upcoming fiscal year.
6. 2010 Tax Assessment: Annual resolution required for IFPD’s $65/annual tax assessment to be included on Property Tax Rolls. Need specific information how this is handled every year.
7. Additional Assessment Tax: Discussion of a possible additional tax assessment. The District is underfunded with shrinking revenues due to depressed real estate market and recession as indicated by the national economic crisis. Unanticipated increase in dispatch fees from Riverside County from $5,000/year to over $50,000/year have seriously impacted the budget.
8. IFPD Business Records: Records were requested from The Family Business to be delivered to the Board at April 11, 2010 meeting. Records are community property and as such should be stored at IFPD. Request for full records/history restated at May 11 meeting.
9. 2008/2009 Audit: Status update.
10. Captain Alan Lott: Status update on Capt. Lott’s request for 5% raise per letter from former-Chief Kunkle.
11. Paid Call: This issue is out to IFPD’s legal counsel. Pended.
12. Employee Roster: Status of roster requested by Comm Schelly. Per Comm Stigall’s directive, all employees were to report information to Engineer/Paramedic LaMont for spreadsheet by May 11, 2010. Mark LaMont made presentation at May 11 meeting showed marked improvement in compliance. Carry until completion.
13. Commissioner Identification: Status of identification and business cards.
14. ***IFPD Resolution #114 Schedule of Offensives/Penalties Policies: Is there verbiage regarding failure to maintain either current medical certification or better? Has this been returned from labor yet? Is a formal copy ready for IFPD Board signatures?
15. ***IFPD Resolution #110 General Rules and Regulations: Has this been returned from labor yet? Addition of chapter on performance evaluations added? Is there verbiage regarding failure to maintain either current medical certification or better? Is a formal copy ready for IFPD Board signatures? *** As previous minutes were not available and I could not recall which items were still active, I have forwarded these two items for review. - Comm. Stigall

Closed Session/None scheduled
Adjournment: Meeting adjourned at _____
Next regularly scheduled meeting will be on June 8, 2010.
Next “Special” (not recurring) meeting: TO BE ANNOUNCED

If you challenge any decision in court, you may be limited to raising only those items you or someone else raised at the public meeting described in this notice, or in written correspondence delivered to this agency at, or prior to, the public meeting.

"The People of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created."
~Preamble from “The Brown Act”

Note: if you would like to receive a copy of IFPD’s meeting agendas/results at the time they are posted;
please send your request to

backyard compost

May 20, 2010

News Release

Contact: Diane Christensen, Program Administrator
Riverside County Waste Management Department
(951) 486-3200

Backyard Composting Workshop in Idyllwild on May 22

A free backyard composting workshop will be offered in Idyllwild on May 22.

Attend this “how-to” workshop to learn how to recycle organic resources such as yard trimmings, fruit and vegetable waste into a dark, crumbly, sweet-smelling soil conditioner. Compost can be used to enrich the soil in gardens, lawns and house plants. Instead of putting organic waste in the garbage to be hauled to the landfill, learn to compost!

The free “how-to” backyard composting workshop begins at 10 a.m. at the Idyllwild Town Hall, 25929 Cedar Street.

Composting is nature’s way of recycling. It’s a great way to divert waste from the landfill and turn it into a beneficial soil amendment. In composting, organic material is mixed together in a pile or bin, where literally millions of tiny microbes digest the material and turn it into a nutrient-rich soil amendment.

Volunteer master composters will explain how to create compost easily and efficiently from organic wastes. Low-cost compost bins will also be available for purchase by Riverside County residents (limit three per household).

For more information, contact Riverside County Waste Management Department at (951) 486-3200 or visit

Monday, May 17, 2010

New Interim IFPD chief

Interim Idyllwild Fire Protection District Fire Chief, Norm Walker, and wife, Kim,just prior to his swearing in ceremony Friday evening, May 14.

Former interim Chief, Mike Mulhall, pins the Chief's badge to Walker's shirt.

At its May 11 meeting, the Idyllwild Fire Protection District Commission asked Norm Walker to serve as their next interim fire chief until a successor to former chief Steve Kunkle is selected.

At a special meeting Friday, May 14, Commission Vice President Pete Capparelli (due to President Jeannine Charles Stigall’s bout with laryngitis) swore Walker into office.

“I’m excited,” Walker said during the week. “I like being back.” When asked what his plans might be, he stressed he would continue what the commission and Mulhall had been working on, such as getting approval to use the Autopulse equipment.

Walker will be the second interim chief, following Mulhall’s temporary promotion. He served from Feb. 17 through Friday, May 14. Walker is very familiar with Idyllwild, the local forest and firefighting. He is the former fire chief for the San Jacinto Ranger District. He retired in March 2008. He is also still an active member of the Southern California Interagency Management teams.

CSA 36 recreation meeting

Special CSA 36 meeting to focus on recreation contract

A three-hour meeting County Service Area (36) meeting, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. will be held at the Idyllwild Fire Protection District (IFPD) meeting room. The purpose is to explain widely circulated but inaccurate misconceptions about the county’s role in recreation management, the CSA’s responsibility for local oversight, county expectations of a recreation contractor, and to conduct a dialogue with a wide group of Idyllwild residents interested in new recreation opportunities – opportunities limited not just to children and adults who play sports, but to Idyllwild’s full demographic.

Verne Lauritzen, Third District Supervisor Jeff Stone’s chief of staff will represent the Supervisor, as will Opal Hellweg, Stone’s legislative assistant. CSA Operations Manager Bill Brown and Deputy Mike Franklin will attend to dialogue with the community.

Brown said he wants to smooth over bad feelings that he and Supervisor Stone believe come from residents not understanding the county’s existing mandate for overseeing recreation, as well as its fiduciary and liability responsibilities for seeing that its contractor performs according to contract and CSA and county standards.

The decision regarding recreation management, and whether or not Idyllwild Community Recreation Council’s (ICRC) existing contract will be rewritten for a renewal period, will likely be announced. The county is interested in hearing primarily from the ICRC board — specifically its strategy and plan for expanding recreation to meet demands of Idyllwild’s currently underserved demographic, including seniors. If the county agrees to give ICRC a new contract, that contract, according to county officials, will be more explicit and detailed than the existing one — one with benchmarks enforceable by the county which, if met, could enhance county trust in ICRC management, or if not, lead to termination.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Foul odor emanating from Lilly Creek

Yesterday evening, residents along Lilly Creek (Lower Pine Crest) detected a foul smell in the creek and white substance in the water.

Idyllwild Fire Department deployed several trucks between 8:30 p.m and 9 p.m.

The material seemed to be coming from the H.K. Smith property, according to Interim Fire chief Mike Mulhall. Based on the information, Firefighter mark LaMont had, he determined the material or substance was non-toxic.

More information about the incident will be available later today.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Summer employment for Idyllwild youth

Applications are online at for the Summer Work Experience Program. According to Bill Brown, County Service Area Operations Manager, at least 17 positions paying $8.00 an hour with no taxes taken out are available to Idyllwild youth ages 14 through 24.

Applicants should go to the website, then access "swep," then "applicant," then download application and guidelines. Completed applications may be dropped off at or sent to Hemet Youth Opportunity Center, 930 State Street, Hemet 92543, phone (951) 765-0917.

Economic eligibility guidelines apply and are available online. Young people who meet guidelines will be interviewed. According to Brown, interviewers will come to Idyllwild for a day of interviews once the applicant pool is determined.

Once a full compliment of Idyllwild applicants is finalized, funds will be available to hire a local supervisor at $16.00 an hour.

The program runs May through October.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Hemet High School Principal appointed

The board of the Hemet Unified School District appointed Dr. Emily Shaw, former idyllwild School principal, as the new Hemet High School principal effective July 1.

Shaw will replace Bill Black who is retiring this summer.

"I'm very excited," Shaw said. "I'll see many of my former students next year."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Forest Service orders PCT detour

Pacific Crest Trail Temporary Detour

San Bernardino, Calif., May 3, 2010 – Hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) will now have to detour through an alternate path around burned acres of the Lone Pine Canyon area of the San Bernardino National Forest. The 15.4-mile temporary detour begins at Forest Service Road 3N49 (PCT mile 344) and ends at the junction where Forest Service Road 3N31Y rejoins the existing PCT.

Approximately 12 miles of the existing PCT were damaged by the Sheep Fire in October 2009 and the subsequent rains. The fire burned approximately 7,100 acres, prompting a closure for the burn area for public safety concerns and protection of natural resources. The area will remain closed for at least one year to allow for vegetative recovery, which in turn will stabilize the soil for safer hiking and erosion control.

The public is prohibited from entering the burn area as per San Bernardino National Forest Order No.10-4 ( PCT hikers should instead follow the detour on the map located at: or

The Forest Service Order:

ORDER NO. 10-4

Pursuant to 36 CFR 261.50(a) and (b), and to provide for public safety, the following acts are prohibited within the San Bernardino National Forest. This Order is effective from April 20, 2010 through October 3, 2010.

  1. Going into or being upon the Sheep Fire Closure Area. The boundary of the Sheep Fire Closure Area begins at the south end of Sheep Canyon, then continues northwest to Mormon Rocks, then continues west to Circle Mountain, then continues south to intersection of 3N31 and the Pacific Crest Trail, then continues east back to the starting point, as shown on Exhibit A. 36 CFR 261.53(e).
  2. Being on any National Forest System road within the Sheep Fire Closure Area, as shown on Exhibit A. 36 CFR 261.54(e).
  3. Being on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, from its intersection with 3N49, then west to its intersection with 3N31, as shown on Exhibit A. 36 CFR 261.55(a).

Pursuant to 36 CFR 261.50(e), the following persons are exempt from this Order

  1. Owners or lessees of land within the area are exempt from the prohibitions listed above to the extent necessary to gain access to their land.
  2. Persons with a permit from the Forest Service specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission.
  3. Any Federal, State or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
These prohibitions are in addition to the general prohibitions in 36 CFR Part 261, Subpart A.

Done at San Bernardino, California, this 19th day of April, 2010..

Forest Supervisor

A violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. 16 USC 551 and 18 USC 3559, 3571, and 3581.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

PCT hikers and snow conditions

Check daily news for an article about PCT hikers and the challenges they face with late Spring snowfall.